Bird Island and Endless Flat Water in the Dominican
I had my eye on the "7 Hermanos" Islands for some time after browsing the entire north coast of the Dominican for kiteboarding beaches using Google Earth. I had no idea if anyone had kiteboarded there before, or how to get a boat. When I ran into Jonathan one night in Cabarete and he told me about the trip I was sold instantly. I got my gear together and left the day after I booked the trip through Oliver.
This proved to be the best kiteboarding experience of my life. We went to the best kiteboarding spots in the Dominican with perfect wind conditions and a great group of people. These guides have done a ton of exploring the entire coast for the ideal spots and it shows. It was 3 days of endless flat water, a great break from the crowds and chop of Cabarete. The professional photos was the cherry of it, everyone walked away with professional kiteboarding photos from the most scenic places in the country.
An early morning pickup at my apartment. There were 2 other guests waiting there as well. We loaded a truck and went to meet the other guests and guides at the "GuaGua" a dominican van. We loaded up the van and were off. It was still early so I just zoned out to some music for the drive. We would get some odd looks from people on the road from all the kiteboard and windsurf gear strapped to the roof, not to typical for the GuaGua. An easy drive to Monte Cristi, much less stressful than the time I had rented a car and made the drive myself.
We met up with the boat and guides and set off to the islands. 40 min later we arrived to the most beautiful place I've seen in the dominican. The water was crystal blue, clear and white sand beaches. We quickly unloaded the boat and wasted no time to start kitting. The water was glass with sandy bottom, perfect kitting conditions. We had a photo session then kitted around the islands, going to 3 of them.
We were spent from kitting all day and the boat guides came in with the catch of the day. The fish was amazing and we were ready for a sunset session. I was way overpowered on my 9, so it was just survival kiteboarding at this point, others we able to take full advantage of it though.
Had an amazing dinner and polished off a few bottles of rum and time for sleep. I opted to sleep on a mat on the beach over the tents, it was great under the stars and the fire still going on the beach. The novelty quickly wore off and it was difficult to get sleep. Between the 30 knot wind, birds chirping and the heat I dodn't sleep to well. Still an amazing experience though.
The next morning we loaded up the boat, then the van and set off to Playa Buen Hombre. This town is great, a small beach town with a single hotel. We checked into the hotel and had a great lunch. Everyone chilled out for a while waiting for the tide to rise for better conditions and checked out the photos from the day before.
You can kite at low tide, but the best flat water is at high tide. Another day of flat water and reef break to boost from. Had a photo session and came away with more professional kiteboarding photos.
Dinner at the hotel and we went to the beach for a beer with the locals and off to bed.
We set up our gear for a boat launch, rolling the lines into the kite, loaded up the boat and went to Paradise Island. The is a small island sandbar with the best snorkeling I've seen in the dominican. Fishing must not be allowed here because there were thousands of fish in the coral. I don't think you are allowed to kite at this island either, and even if it was allowed there are way to many people to be able to launch your kite. Once the wind picked up we hopped in the boat and went to the launch.
At this launch the coast is all mangroves so there's no beach to launch from. It's shallow and sandy enough to stand and launch from the boat. This was no problem and you could tell the guides have done this many times. Another photo session by the boat and we set off for our downwinder.
This was the best kiteboarding of my life. The islands were the hightlight of the trip because of the uniqueness, but this was the best kiteboarding conditions. 9 km of flatwater and small waves in the reef to boost from and no other kitters. We ended up back in Buen Hombre at the end of the downwinder. Got a much needed Cerveza Presidente and set off back to Cabarete. Everyone was exhausted from 3 days of endless kiteboarding in strong wind, it was a quiet ride home. The trip went perfect and I'd go again in an instant.